UK: Restorative Justice - A Guide for Young People

Summary: Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford has launched an innovative new guide to restorative justice for young people.

The booklet entitled “Restorative Justice - a guide for young people” was produced by the Youth Justice Agency in collaboration with the Restorative Justice Forum (NI).

Launched during a Restorative Justice Forum seminar in Parliament Buildings, the child friendly guide uses a comic book format to explain how restorative justice can be used in a variety of settings including the youth conference.

It also contains several poems and posters by young people who had entered a competition run jointly by the Youth Justice Agency and Restorative Justice Forum to illustrate what restorative justice means to them.

David Ford said: “This guide explains the restorative justice process to young people in a colourful, imaginative and informative way. The inclusion of poems and drawings by young people themselves and the input from the Forum members makes this a very useful resource for schools and youth clubs.

“Restorative justice, as delivered through the youth conference, challenges the behaviour of young offenders, offers them constructive opportunities to make amends, and most importantly gives a voice to victims. However its principles are not confined to the criminal justice sector and can be applied in dispute resolution in other areas such as schools.”

The Minister was joined at the launch by pupils from Integrated College, Dungannon who performed a short drama to demonstrate how a restorative approach can be used successfully within the school setting.

Copies of the guide are being distributed as a teaching aid to schools and youth clubs throughout Northern Ireland and the Youth Justice Agency will follow this up with a series of information seminars in a number of schools to further explore opportunities for promoting a restorative approach to resolving disputes.




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